Quotations by Joubert, Joseph


Be charitable and indulgent to every one but yourself.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
(Attributed)

Quoted in Maturin M. Ballou, Treasury of Thought (1884 ed.).
Added on 19-Aug-16 | Last updated 19-Aug-16
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Those who never retract their opinions love themselves more than they love truth.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838)
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Grace is beauty in action.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838)
Added on 18-Feb-15 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Words, like glass, obscure when they do not aid vision.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]

Alt. trans.: "Words, like eyeglasses, obscure everything they do not make clear."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-May-16
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It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-May-16
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To teach is to learn twice.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-May-16
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It seems there is something spiritual in wine.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 7-Oct-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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The great inconvenience of new books is that they prevent us from reading the old ones.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 4-Nov-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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When I had the strength, I did not have the patience. I have the patience today and I no longer have the power.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 11-Nov-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Good impulses are naught, unless they become good actions.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 8-Apr-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Some find activity only in repose, and others repose only in movement.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 18-Mar-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 25-Mar-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 1-Apr-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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All luxury corrupts either the morals or the taste.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 15-Apr-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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To be capable of respect is, in these days, almost as rare as to be worthy of it.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 22-Apr-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Writing is closer to thinking than to speaking.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 6-May-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Questions show the mind’s range, and answers, its subtlety.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 13-May-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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I love to see two truths at the same time. Every good comparison gives the mind this advantage.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 20-May-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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God made life to be lived and not to be known.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 3-Jun-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 10-Jun-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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A person who is never duped cannot be a friend.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 1-Jul-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Necessity can make a doubtful action innocent, but it cannot make it commendable.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 15-Jul-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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In political institutions, almost everything we call an abuse was once a remedy.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 29-Jul-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Courage (in a soldier) is maintained by a certain anger; anger is a little blind and likes to strike out. And from this follows a thousand abuses, a thousand evils and misfortunes that are impossible to predict in an army during war.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 22-Jul-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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And perhaps there is no advice to give a writer more important than this: Never write anything that does not give you great pleasure.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 5-Aug-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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The staircase that leads to God. What does it matter if it is make-believe, if we really climb it? What difference does it make who builds it, or if it is made of marble or word, of brick, stone, or mud? The essential thing is that it be solid and that in climbing it we feel the peace that is inaccessible to those who do not climb it.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 12-Aug-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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What will you think of pleasures when you no longer enjoy them?

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 19-Aug-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Do not choose for your wife any woman you would not choose for a friend if she were a man.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 26-Aug-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Misery is almost always the result of thinking.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 9-Sep-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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When you write easily, you always think you have more talent than you really do.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 16-Sep-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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I don’t like to write anything down on paper that I would not say to myself.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 23-Sep-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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In every kind of debauch there enters much coldness of soul. It is a conscious and voluntary abuse of pleasure.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 30-Sep-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Half myself mocks the other half.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 14-Oct-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Necessity can make a doubtful action innocent, but it cannot make it commendable.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 21-Oct-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Sexes. One has the look of a wound, the other of something skinned.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 28-Oct-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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In political institutions, almost everything we call an abuse was once a remedy.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 18-Nov-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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And perhaps there is no advice to give a writer more important than this: — Never write anything that does not give you great pleasure.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 2-Dec-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [tr. Collins (1928)]

Alt. trans.: "The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress." [tr. Paul Auster (1983)]
Added on 9-Dec-08 | Last updated 24-Jan-17
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It is an element of all happiness to fancy that we deserve it.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [tr. Collins (1928)]
Added on 4-Aug-11 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Nations love dangers, and when there are none to be found create them to fill the want.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [tr. Collins (1928)]
Added on 27-Feb-12 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Perhaps we need, for worldly success, virtues which make us loved and vices which make us feared.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [tr. Collins (1928)]
Added on 6-Mar-15 | Last updated 6-Mar-15
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Maxims are to the intellect what laws are to actions; they do not enlighten, but they guide and direct; and although themselves blind, are protective. They are like the clue in the labyrinth, or the compass in the night.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées, # 138 (1838)
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "Maxims are to the intelligence what laws are to action: they do not illuminate, but they guide, they control, they rescue blindly. They are the clue in the labyrinth, the ship's compass in the night."
Added on 31-Jul-18 | Last updated 1-Aug-18
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Chance generally favors the prudent.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées, # 147 (1838) [tr. Atwell]

Variant: "Chance generally favors the prudent man."
Added on 13-May-16 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Justice is truth in action.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées, # 203 (1838) [tr. Attwell (1877)]
Added on 29-May-11 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Children have more need of models than of critics.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées, # 261 (1838) [tr. Attwell (1877)]

(also attrib. Carolyn Coats)
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Never cut what you can untie.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées, #1797 (1838) [tr. Collins (1928)]

Alt. trans.: "Don't cut what you can untie." [Notebooks, ed. Paul Auster (1983)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-May-16
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All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées, #1806 (1838) [tr. Auster (1983)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-May-16
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A work is perfectly finished only when nothing can be added to it and nothing taken away.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées, #1809 (1838) [tr. Auster (1983)]
Added on 13-Jan-12 | Last updated 13-May-16
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